McCarty’s fans will be enthralled by the third Highland Guard novel. Against a richly historical and violent backdrop she deftly weaves a surprisingly moving love story that demands a skillful writer’s touch. Her exquisite prose makes this a book readers will treasure.
Arthur Campbell, whose skills have earned him the name “Ranger,” is given a secret assignment by Robert the Bruce. He is to pretend support for the British while spying for the Scots. When he saves Anna MacDougall during a military ambush he feels as if he has been struck by lightning due to her kindness.
Anna, whose family supports the British, is attracted to Arthur. He is among the men who have answered her father’s call to arms and she sees him frequently. While he continually protects her from precarious situations, she is told to watch him, placing them closer together. Arthur has great reason to despise Anna’s father, but he cannot deny his passion for her. As the war heats up they are drawn toward a dramatic climax. (BALLANTINE, Jan., 380 pp., $7.99)